I’m always a fan of single-hopped beer, as it’s a great way to profile that hop variety. This beer is no exception – the only hops used are Simcoe, a west coast hop variety. This particular beer is retired (but the normal version, the filtered type continues to be available year-round). Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher weighs in at 9.0% ABV, squarely into Double IPA land and nearing Triple IPA land.
I picked this up on a whim, as I enjoy Simcoe hops and thought that this would be a good way to explore the nuances of that hop. There was a lot of sediment (yeast) in the bottle due to it being an unfiltered beer, but that adds to the creaminess and head retention of the beer itself (and the head on this beer is truly massive). It produces a hazy look to the beer, and of course there are some “floaties”, but none of that is an actual detriment to the beer itself.
Poured as a very dark amber (rich mahogany) with massive white head every time. Wonderfully grassy and prickly pine Simcoe flavor that transforms into a citrus cacophony while finishing creamy. Wonderful DIPA that doesn’t overwhelm you with a barrage of hops, and allows its Simcoe flavor to truly shine. The unfiltered version adds creaminess to the mix. Isn’t a hop explosion as most DIPAs are – but actually is a quite nicely balanced DIPA, although it would disappoint the hop-heads. Demands to be a beer to be savored, to ponder on the variety of flavors that comes from a single type of hop.
A double IPA in a can, brewed during the hops shortage a few years back. Aged on oak spirals, it lends a woodsy and smoky character to the beer. Blend of Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade hops – nothing special, just a typical pine-citrus flavor blend. Medium bodied, but drinks rich. Head is excellent but doesn’t lace well. Mainly malt-forward. Good attempt at a DIPA, even better when you consider you can get it in a can.
Hoptimum is a double IPA at 10.4% ABV that’s bordering on “extreme”, especially when you consider that it’s a whole-cone hopped beer. Hopped, dry-hopped, AND torpedoed for an ultra-intense hop explosion. Not for the faint of heart, utilizing new hop varieties for a spectrum of flavors throughout every drink. Notes of melon, rose, lilac, cedar, mango, papaya, resin, and a spicy finish. Boozy but in a good way – it hits at the end of the hop cavalcade, leaving a mouth-puckering spicy finish that isn’t very sticky. Well balanced, as the brewers at Sierra Nevada always attempt to do with their beers. Malt is lurking beneath the hop-festival that was expected and delivered on.
Lake Erie Monster is Great Lakes Brewing Co (GLBC)’s rotating Double IPA. Weighing in at a whopping 9.10% ABV and 80 IBU, this beer packs plenty of punch. Brewed with Simcoe and Williamette hops, they provide a muted presence for a DIPA. You’ll find that this is more of a caramel-malt forward balanced DIPA that happens to be highly drinkable as well. Usually released in the summer only – and not even every year, it’s always an event when this beer hits the market. Has a sweet flavor which is a bit surprising, especially as you’ll expect some sort of hop assault that never comes. Bitterness from the hops nicely counterbalances the sweet notes, creating a smooth mouthfeel that ends up being a bit sticky. Appearance is lovely as can be seen from the photograph. Head is excellent, long-lasting, and laces beautifully Recommended, but if you’re a hop-head, give this one a pass.
1000 IBU (nee IPA) is a rotating DIPA offering from Mikkeller, a Danish brewer well known by beer aficionados in the United States. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a beer of theirs that I enjoy yet. This one was no exception. Didn’t enjoy the hop profile at all. 9.6% ABV and it shows. Hops is listed thrice on the label, but what kind of hops isn’t mentioned.
Dark red-yellow DIPA, malty, and clashing flavors produce a grassy biscuity and malty taste, not resiny or pine or hoppy as would be expected. Yeast is present, but the flavor / sensation of hops is not. Simply put, it’s a bitter malty DIPA. Definitely not one that I would recommend or try again, especially with world-class DIPAs being produced locally in Columbus. Pass on this one.